Lasting Power Of Attorney

Attorney Services

Making Your Life Much Easier

Lasting Power of Attorney (Property and Affairs)

Some of the most harrowing stories which advisers come across in their line of work involve relatives trying to make the best possible financial provisions for care needs. Apart from the costs it is the difficulty of trying to deal with someone else’s money where the problems often occur. Sons and daughters find that they are powerless because their parents failed to appoint them as attorneys. Without this power none of the relative’s assets can be touched. Where there are no relatives at all the individual will be in a complete state of limbo until a friend or solicitor arranges all of the necessary paperwork which is considerable and time consuming.

Before the mental capacity act 2005 which introduced mandatory Lasting Power of Attorney (an LPA) it was relatively straightforward to arrange an Enduring Power of Attorney (an EPA), providing the donor was of sound mind at the time. This is no longer the case.

Where an EPA exists it is still valid and can be used in the normal way unless the state of mind has deteriorated to such an extent that the EPA has to be registered by the Court. When someone needs to pay for care costs such as in a residential home, or for help in their own home, there is usually insufficient income or funds to do this. State benefits can be available but these would need to be applied for and if the individual cannot sign forms or documents then stalemate ensues. An LPA can of course do so, and without this, financial help is very difficult if not impossible to arrange.

Everybody should appoint at least one or preferably two or more Attorneys. The young may well dismiss the idea but once you begin to acquire assets or run a business the need to appoint someone to act on your behalf in relation to those assets is of paramount importance.

If you are reading this today and have not appointed a power of attorney then begin the process immediately as this can take some time to finalise.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that ensures someone you trust will handle your property and affairs and / or Personal Welfare in the event of you becoming unable to do so There are two types of LPA which you may choose from (or elect to do both) depending on your needs.

Where a Lasting Power of Attorney has NOT been arranged prior to incapacity then The Office of The Public Guardian will appoint a Receiver to act on your behalf which may not have been the person that you would have chosen yourself. This process takes time whilst bills cannot be paid and your affairs can not be looked after. This process is extremely expensive when compared to the cost of making your LPA. With a Lasting Power of Attorney in place there would be no Office of The Public Guardian charges, no annual fees payable and no solicitors charges to pay.

* It could be said that any Lawyer addressing a Will writing task or additional trust work that does not recommend the LPA, could almost be considered negligent. It is therefore basic common sense to have a Lasting Power of Attorney drawn up at the earliest opportunity.